Boys Basketball: De La Salle edges Brother Rice
By Bill Harrison For Sun-Times Media February 7, 2014 10:18PM
Quinn Niego, of Brother Rice, puts up a shot against De La Salle at De La Salle Institute, Friday, February 7th, 2014, in Chicago. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 10, 2014 6:30AM
De La Salle 6-foot-5 junior center Brandon Hutton isn’t used to coming off the bench. Since it was Senior Night against Brother Rice on Friday, Hutton sat out the first four minutes to make way for the five senior starters.
Hutton wasn’t able to assert himself offensively until the third quarter when he scored 11 of his 21 points in leading the Meteors to a 64-61 Catholic League win.
The third quarter was pivotal for the Meteors (9-9, 6-3). They took the lead for good despite the Crusaders (10-11, 4-6) challenging the entire fourth period.
“It was a big adjustment, but I had to get through it and be ready to play,” Hutton said of not starting. “It was my team that got me going. They were playing hard and playing defense, and they got me hyped.”
Hutton got the crowd hyped in the second quarter when he put down an alley-oop on a fast-break pass from Martez Cameron. The Meteors trailed 24-16 early in the quarter but took a 27-26 lead at the half.
Ray Rubio and Quinn Niego kept the Crusaders within striking distance all night. Rubio finished with 24 points and Niego added 22. A three-pointer by Rubio gave the Crusaders their last lead of the game at 31-30.
De La Salle took the lead for good with an 8-0 run and kept the Crusaders at bay in the fourth, shooting 10-for-12 from the free-throw line. Cameron was 7-for-8 and finished with 11 points. Karl Harris also had 11 points, while Aaron Jones added 10.
An off-balance and contested potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer by Niego went way right.
The Crusaders had pulled to within one on three different occasions in the fourth.
“The seniors had the chance to get their names called and I think that’s important,” De La Salle coach Tom White said. “They played real hard, and the one senior hit that three and we won (by) three.”
Senior Matt Castillo hit a three in the first quarter before the three junior starters, Harris, Cameron and Hutton, came into the game.
“We had the ball in the hands of the kids who shoot free throws well,” White said, “I think we are playing both ends of the floor a lot better than we did five weeks ago. We’re really sharing the ball and doing some good things.”